WSJ: Sony Positions Next PlayStation for Hard-Core Gamers, focus on strengthening relationships with large publishers

modiz

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Oct 8, 2018
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Sony sees Microsoft as its main competitor in the next generation, with Google a potential threat in the mid- to long-term as internet technology advances, one company official said.Nintendo Co. isn’t perceived as a major rival, the person said, because its main users tend to be younger than PlayStation’s core demographic.

PlayStation has been one of the most successful mass-market products of the past quarter-century; the PlayStation 4 alone is expected to pass 100 million units this year. Sony’s latest thinking puts less stress on overall sales numbers and more on the most-profitable segment of the market: the devoted fans who buy big-budget titles, such as Bethesda Softworks LLC’s “Fallout” series and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s “Red Dead Redemption.”

A second Sony official said the company believes people buy a videogame console to play graphics-heavy games.
Sony is concentrating its attention on large software publishers as it gets ready for the next PlayStation, according to executives at Sony and software makers. In general, publishers want their games on multiple platforms to maximize sales, while console makers look to make deals for exclusive content or an initial period of exclusive sales.

Some executives at smaller game makers say they have felt snubbed by Sony, in contrast to Nintendo. At the Tokyo Game Show in September, Nintendo is supporting events to showcase independent game developers. Sony used to do the same, but isn’t planning to this year, the first Sony official said.

Sony still welcomes games from independent studios, the first Sony official said, but the emphasis is on strengthening relationships with large publishers since resources are limited. The thinking is, the official said, that people buy a console to play high-quality games available only on that platform, not smaller games also available on smartphones.
 

Betty

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
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Hopefully that means more Bloodborne and Spider-Man quality games then.
 

Xando

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Oct 28, 2017
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Some executives at smaller game makers say they have felt snubbed by Sony, in contrast to Nintendo. At the Tokyo Game Show in September, Nintendo is supporting events to showcase independent game developers. Sony used to do the same, but isn’t planning to this year, the first Sony official said.
Sony is in the last year of this generation and nintendo is mid generation.

What did they expect?

They'll be back next year when they have a reason to be there.

Sony still welcomes games from independent studios, the first Sony official said, but the emphasis is on strengthening relationships with large publishers since resources are limited. The thinking is, the official said, that people buy a console to play high-quality games available only on that platform, not smaller games also available on smartphones.
This is also true. Even if ERA hates on AAA games. People buy consoles for Fifa or Fallout rather than indies.
 
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modiz

modiz

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Oct 8, 2018
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I personally understand why they are going with this approach, early on in the PS4 generation, they had good marketing on indies, but that mostly lead to "ps4 has no games" meme, so i guess that they want to avoid this issue come the next generation.
 

Toumari

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Oct 27, 2017
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Focussing on the hardcore gamers first does make sense, as those are the ones picking up the console day 1.
 

Pryme

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Aug 23, 2018
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I personally understand why they are going with this approach, early on in the PS4 generation, they had good marketing on indies, but that mostly lead to "ps4 has no games" meme, so i guess that they want to avoid this issue come the next generation.
It wasn’t about the indie marketing. It was more to do with the fact that first party support was rather thin for the first couple of years.
First real killer game was Bloodborne in 2015.
 

ghostcrew

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Oct 27, 2017
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Some executives at smaller game makers say they have felt snubbed by Sony, in contrast to Nintendo. At the Tokyo Game Show in September, Nintendo is supporting events to showcase independent game developers. Sony used to do the same, but isn’t planning to this year, the first Sony official said.
It’s weird that this is a thing after such an indie and small games friendly PS4 launch. I’d say that was a huge strength back in 2013.

I’ve told this anecdote before but I went to EGX Rezzed this year. It’s the UK’s main indie gaming convention. A sister show to the main EGX. Nintendo had a massive area with tons of indie games coming to Switch. They were a massive presence there. Xbox had a big [email protected] room with 30 indie games, all coming to Game Pass. Sony had a room with Dreams in it. That was their entire presence at the show.
 

kadotsu

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Oct 25, 2017
2,213
It's boring but it's probably also the right business move. Any perceived infrastructure advantage doesn't matter if you get content first and exclusively.
 

Danteyke223

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Oct 24, 2018
334
I personally understand why they are going with this approach, early on in the PS4 generation, they had good marketing on indies, but that mostly lead to "ps4 has no games" meme, so i guess that they want to avoid this issue come the next generation.
So they"ll flood the market with Sony exclusive things on third party just like MS did in the old X360era? and that is going to be a good thing?Hell im already seeing this with Destiny, Cod and even Remedy's Control where the season pass and a sidequest is exclusive for the ps4 for a bit. but i guess this is fine as long Sony wins
 

CaviarMeths

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Oct 25, 2017
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Sony still welcomes games from independent studios, the first Sony official said, but the emphasis is on strengthening relationships with large publishers since resources are limited. The thinking is, the official said, that people buy a console to play high-quality games available only on that platform, not smaller games also available on smartphones.
Even if it's not necessarily wrong, I find this so dismissive and off-putting. Doesn't seem like they have any more interest in courting indie devs than they did in the 2nd half of the PS4's life. Meanwhile Microsoft is going all in on making indies part of the GamePass library and Nintendo has been letting several of them share the spotlight with their own 1st party blockbusters.

Nintendo Co. isn’t perceived as a major rival, the person said, because its main users tend to be younger than PlayStation’s core demographic.
I find this a little inaccurate too. Obviously Nintendo performs more strongly than other publishers with younger gamers, but the majority of users for both platforms are teens and millennials. But it doesn't matter much anyway because a lot of Playstation fans are also Nintendo fans and vice versa. There's plenty of room in the demo for both.
 
Feb 10, 2018
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"Sony’s latest thinking puts less stress on overall sales numbers and more on the most-profitable segment of the market: the devoted fans who buy big-budget titles, such as Bethesda Softworks LLC’s “Fallout” series and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s “Red Dead Redemption.”

Isn't this part a contradiction, because a higher install base means more sales of 3rd and 1st party games.
 

Quintus

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Oct 26, 2017
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Does this mean more timed exclusive games or more exclusive content with marketing partnerships?
 

dietpepsi

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Oct 25, 2017
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Focussing on the hardcore gamers first does make sense, as those are the ones picking up the console day 1.
Exactly and it's not like there won't be a plethora of indie/AA games down the line that they can then bring to PS5, or as if those same devs/publishers won't want to be on PS5 anyways. Makes sense for them to push this positioning, making it clear in no uncertain terms.
 

Dust

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Oct 25, 2017
5,985
This is referring more to third party devs, so more to do with marketing deals vs exclusive games.
Pretty sure it means both, Sony sees what sells and makes people talk.
Epic and Sony will bring a lot of heated arguments in the year or so with the timed and full exclusives, I think.
 

ggx2ac

Sales Heaven or Sales Hell?
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Oct 25, 2017
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Even if it's not necessarily wrong, I find this so dismissive and off-putting.
And there's also this from the article:
Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute, said he believes Sony’s stress on large-budget games could lessen variety and lead some customers to switch to rivals such as Nintendo. In contrast, the second Sony official said he expected smaller games would still be released for the PlayStation, even without extensive Sony support, because the popularity of PlayStation makes the platform hard for smaller game developers to ignore.
 

SweetVermouth

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Mar 5, 2018
3,521
Sony should be concentrating in making a console that's not a turbo jet engine sitting in the cheapest piece of plastic they could use to build it. The original PS4 might be the shittiest console in terms of build quality I ever owned.
 

cowbanana

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Feb 2, 2018
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Sounds good to me.

PC + Playstation + Switch will remain the great combo it is today, especially now that MS is focusing on Windows gaming again. I can play any exclusive, indie etc. (well, except the EGS stuff, that's a hard pass).

Sony should be concentrating in making a console that's not a turbo jet engine sitting in the cheapest piece of plastic they could use to build it. The original PS4 might be the shittiest console in terms of build quality I ever owned.
Do you have a Pro? That is some shit hardware. Sony does need to do a lot better with their new hardware for sure. I'm certainly not touching it before it has been out for a while, perhaps a year. I want to make sure I don't get a PS4 Pro level piece of shit.
 
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gofreak

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Oct 26, 2017
2,318
"Sony’s latest thinking puts less stress on overall sales numbers and more on the most-profitable segment of the market: the devoted fans who buy big-budget titles, such as Bethesda Softworks LLC’s “Fallout” series and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s “Red Dead Redemption.”

Isn't this part a contradiction, because a higher install base means more sales of 3rd and 1st party games.
I don't think it's contradictory when you view positioning as a fluid rather than fixed thing over the life of the product. For now, and for the early part of the cycle, positioning a console for the 'hard-core' is key. You get the early adopters, the hardcore first, and it makes it a lot easier to expand out.

I wouldn't confuse Sony's current focus with next-gen positioning as the extent of its interest over the life of the product. But this orientation makes sense right now.
 

Lom1lo

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Oct 27, 2017
183
Hopefully that doesnt mean more of those shit Deals. At least there wont be any Destiny deal
 

liquidmetal14

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Oct 25, 2017
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I haven't had a PlayStation in a bit but none of what they've done has impacted me on PC. They're one of the leaders so I do still think they know what they're doing and have done a great job this generation. It's a business at the end of the day and they've done a good job of treading the line and have done a stellar job this generation.
 

ghostcrew

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Oct 27, 2017
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In contrast, the second Sony official said he expected smaller games would still be released for the PlayStation, even without extensive Sony support, because the popularity of PlayStation makes the platform hard for smaller game developers to ignore.
Probably would’ve said this about the Xbox after last gen and their amazing Indie support with XBLA and Summer of Arcade etc.

Then this gen launched and loads of Indie devs just skipped Xbox One and did exclusive marketing deals with PlayStation because they were super Indie friendly. Things change.
 

gofreak

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Oct 26, 2017
2,318
Yeah, but Bloodborne and Spider-Man aren’t first party games.
I'm not sure WSJ, or the cited 'officials', would care for that distinction when talking about in-house produced exclusive games.

The gist of it is anyway, that they seem to be focused on premium content you'd be motivated to buy a console for, from all the vectors that might come from, not just third party partners.
 

Glio

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Oct 27, 2017
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Every time I read "hardcore gamers" all the negative and toxic stereotypes of the medium come to my mind.
 

Xando

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Oct 28, 2017
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Probably would’ve said this about the Xbox after last gen and their amazing Indie support with XBLA and Summer of Arcade etc.

Then this gen launched and loads of Indie devs just skipped Xbox One and did exclusive marketing deals with PlayStation because they were super Indie friendly. Things change.
Unlike MS Sony has a big presence WW which is virtually without competition in the gaming sphere. Indies can't ignore that.
 

Wiped

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Nov 2, 2017
2,053
I'm a bit sick of everyone obsessing over indie devs so this is good news. I don't want cheapo low budget indie titles, I'm buying a PS5 for the same reason I got a PS4: for big PS exclusives like TLOU, Gran Turismo and God of War.
 

TheGhost

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Oct 25, 2017
12,840
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I'm a bit sick of everyone obsessing over indie devs so this is good news. I don't want cheapo low budget indie titles, I'm buying a PS5 for the same reason I got a PS4: for big PS exclusives like TLOU, Gran Turismo and God of War.
You do realize PS4 first year or so was built off the strength of Indies right? Due to the number of Indies my PlayStation had more variety than my Xbox at launch.

If they want to compete for hardcore gamers they should focus on oh I don't know...a damn elite controller with paddles. 1 year exclusive deals on major games dlc will always be a bad look. It was shitty when Microsoft did it and it's even shittier now when Sony does it.
 

Kouriozan

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Oct 25, 2017
7,952
Basically a repeat of what we see right now, fine enough.
Nintendo is and will always be considered niche by AAA publishers, no matter how Switch is selling, so it is no treat at all for Sony, they are currently in a strong position and not going to lose it for a long while, hence the « small publisher will always release their games on Playstation because it’s too big »

 
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gofreak

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Oct 26, 2017
2,318
Totally ignoring indies is a mistake, esp with gamepass.
It doesn't say they're totally ignoring indies. They welcome them still per the article.

Probably would’ve said this about the Xbox after last gen and their amazing Indie support with XBLA and Summer of Arcade etc.

Then this gen launched and loads of Indie devs just skipped Xbox One and did exclusive marketing deals with PlayStation because they were super Indie friendly. Things change.
It was kind of a different time in terms of indie access to console platforms. Just getting contracts signed and getting kits, and plugging into the distribution pipe, was a much different affair back then than it is now. It wasn't just a matter of 'oh, this console will probably be popular, so let's put our game on it'.... there were logistical barriers.

I don't think these barriers exist now on any of the platforms. I don't think Sony will be putting any back up. So if there's an expectation of an audience on a console, I think nowadays, the indies will be able to come in a way that wasn't such a given back in the early XB1/PS4 days.
 

Roytheone

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Oct 25, 2017
1,296
Creating more exclusive games that wouldn't been possible otherwise = good, it benefits gamers

Paying to keep content from other platforms= bad, it has 0 actual value for gamers if you think about it.
 
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modiz

modiz

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Oct 8, 2018
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My main takeaway from this is that Sony is skipping TGS this year, unless I'm reading the article incorrectly. That's a pretty big deal.
i think they are talking about this and not about the TGS press conference itself
 

Fastidioso

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Nov 3, 2017
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"Sony’s latest thinking puts less stress on overall sales numbers and more on the most-profitable segment of the market: the devoted fans who buy big-budget titles, such as Bethesda Softworks LLC’s “Fallout” series and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s “Red Dead Redemption.”

Isn't this part a contradiction, because a higher install base means more sales of 3rd and 1st party games.
No it's not. They said to be more focused to higher profit than pure hardware numbers but doesn't means won't care to sell more hardware units possible.